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Startup Istanbul Challenge 2018 marked by women

The winners of the Startup Istanbul Challenge 2018, organized for the sixth time by Etohum which is one of the most prominent accelerators in the world, according to Global Accelerator Report, was selected by the votes of the jury and the participants. This year, the challenge marked by women entrepreneurs.

100 startups selected among 90,000 applications at Startup Istanbul under the main sponsorship of ITU ARI Teknokent and Esas Ventures have had the opportunity to make presentations in front of the world’s leading investors and institutions. In the 6th Startup Istanbul Challenge 2018, three ventures among 10 finalists were awarded. While the third prize was won by Iyris from Saudi Arabia, the second was Neurafarm from Indonesia and the first was Friendbase from Sweden, and Honorable Mention award was given HERZ Medical Eng’g from Lebanon. Thus, women entrepreneurs have marked to top three this year.

In the 6th Startup Istanbul event organized by Turkey’s leading early stage investor and accelerator program Etohum, 10 entrepreneurs made presentations in front of the jury including Esas Ventures Founding Partner Fethi Sabancı Kamışlı, DraperU Ventures Partner Asra Nadeem, Techstars London Program Director Marko Srsan and Topia CPO Sten Tamkivi. After the presentations, the entrepreneurs answered the questions of the jury. The jury chose Friendbase, Neurafarm and Iyris as the best ventures after the finish of all presentations.

Iyris, the renewable energy initiative from Saudi Arabia, which operates on transparent solar panels, won the third prize; Neurafarm, which works on agricultural technologies in Indonesia, won the second prize; Friendbase, an avatar-based chat application for young people from Stockholm got the first prize. HERZ Medical Eng’g providing catheter-based cardiac assist device has got the honorable mention prize.

Etohum Founder Burak Büyükdemir, who made a statement on the Startup Istanbul Challenge 2018, said: “The sixth edition of Startup Istanbul, which we organized this year, has made an important work to make Istanbul the center of entrepreneurship. The Startup Istanbul Challenge 2018 has already begun investor contacts for seven other finalists in addition to winners selected by the votes of jury and participants. The Startup Istanbul event, which grows every year, will continue to be one of the leading entrepreneurship events in the region and the world in the coming years.”

Esas Ventures Founding Partner Fethi Sabancı Kamışlı spoke at the event as follows:
“Since the foundation of Esas Ventures, we had a goal and a dream. Our goal was to integrate the Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem with other ecosystems in the world, and our dream was to make Istanbul one of the most important startup centers in its region. We want to be a bridge between Istanbul and the rest of the world. The bridge is a two-legged structure; if you only build one side, there will be no integration, so the bridge won’t. Startup Istanbul is one of the most important players in providing this integration in Turkey and in the region. We are very happy and proud to be the main sponsor of Startup Istanbul as Esas Ventures. At the Startup Istanbul Challenge, we listened and shared the excitement of many valuable entrepreneurs from all over the world. It is also happy that this year marked by women entrepreneurs. We will continue to support these and similar activities and startups that contribute to the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

26 October 2018

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